Tag Archives: P.O.W.

Was “Cigarette-Money” in World War II POW Camps a Case of Commodity Money Origination?

By Matthew Berg

1. A Parable About the Origin of Money

Perhaps the most convincing single example cited by proponents of the view that money is a commodity is the well-known use of cigarettes as “money” by Allied prisoners of war in Germany during World War II. Just six months after being liberated by the U.S. Army, former POW R.A. Radford published his famous article in the journal Economica, “The Economic Organization of a P.O.W. Camp,” describing how he and his compatriots had used cigarettes as a medium of exchange during their unpleasant stay at their not-so-idyllic Bavarian Stalag. Continue reading